The Story that Never Ran

Journalism, Newburgh, G-d help us 4 Comments »

During the total power blackout in Newburgh this weekend … the whole city was without electricity, heat, hot water, traffic lights, street lamps, gas pumps, and lots more items that are usually considered necessities … i took the opportunity to walk around the ‘hood in the bright, almost cruelly bright, icy sunshine Sunday morning, and found a whole lot going on. i took notes for a story for the Record, but when i got home i realized that … DUH! … without my computer, i had no way to write it up and send it in. Only late in the evening, after the power had come back on, was i able to do so. Too late!

Or maybe, they just didn’t like it. Anyway, i’ve copied-and-pasted it here.

 Despite Outage, Newburghers Keep On Keeping On

 Newburgh—-It was a case of “no power, no problem” for many in the
city on Sunday, as preachers preached, flocks flocked and even some
businesses plowed ahead despite lacking electricity and heat.
Two dozen workers’ cars were parked at Dickson Street’s Unitex laundry
plant, a seven-day operation. A semi-tractor trailer driver who had
backed up to the loading dock at about 11 a.m. said, “They’re washing
the laundry by hand in there, and we’re trucking it to other plants to
be dried.” It’s crucial that the work gets done because Unitex
supplies linens to hospitals throughout the region.
At Iglesia de Dios, a large church on the same street, worshippers flowed
through its open doors to attend the morning service with pastor
Joaquin Pena.
“It’s wonderful to be able to worship together, even without power,”
said one young woman who was herding three children inside.
The Sunoco station and convenience store around the corner, at South
William and South Lake streets, was open. The gas pumps weren’t
working, and since that’s what draws many customers, who then duck in
for coffee and a hard roll, it was a bit lonely there. But by the
light streaming through its wide-open door, clerks added up purchases
using handheld calculators like the kind displayed, along with lip
balm and tire gauges, on the shop’s walls.
Down the street, on South Lake between Broadway and Washington
Terrace, Jessi’s Mexican-American Diner was doing a brisk business,
thanks to a generator that enabled cooking to continue.
“The place is packed,” said a man who was leaving with a large takeout
bag. That assessment was confirmed by a line that extended out the
door and down the steps.
Making a joyful noise
“Praise God, from whom all blessings flow,” the congregation was
belting out at Grace United Methodist Church at about that same time;
“Praise Him, all creatures here below!”
Nearly 35 people, in total, attended the two services there Sunday morning. Why didn’t they just snuggle under the covers and try to stay warm?
“They come in any conditions, to celebrate who we are – children of
the One God,” said the Rev. Dr. Evelyn McDonald, pastor at Grace.
“Even after a night that was challenging to the people of Newburgh, we
awoke to a day that is bright – a day that is God’s day. We came to
sing, to praise and to be spiritually renewed for the week ahead.”
The congregation stayed to enjoy one another’s company after services, along with cups of hot tea made on the church’s gas stove, which needed only a match to be fired up.